‘Revisit edible oil import ban’

ZAMBIA – The suspension of imports of edible oils may attract international trade retaliation which will affect the local industry’s performance, the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) has warned.

Recently, Government announced the suspension of licences for the importation of edible oils to allow experts from the ministries of Finance, Commerce Trade and Industry and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to study the impact the importation of vegetable oils had on the local market.

This was in response to complaints the Government had received from Zambian producers, manufactures and consumers over the flooding of imported oil on the local market. The findings would be made public as soon as the investigations were concluded.

ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the ban was likely to attract retaliation from importers of Zambian products within and outside the region.
“The Government should have consulted widely before banning the imports of edible oils to lessen consequences of the ban, especially that Zambia is a signatory to various trade protocols with regional blocs and international organisations,” Mr Sakulanda said.

He said manufacturers in countries which shared membership with Zambia were likely to complain to regional bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) over banning decisions.

If they started reciprocating, local factories which were dependent on exports would be affected and even face closure. In view of the ban, Mr Sakulanda however urged the local manufacturers to increase their production and satisfy local demand.

April 16, 2015; http://www.times.co.zm/?p=56156


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